I'm so sorry! - So in the comments of the last page, a full three weeks ago, I noted that I was going to be gone on a whirlwind romantic adventure the next week and I might be unable to post a comic. Yeah, that happened. It's the first time in six years of making comics that I've missed an update of my main comic, apart from long-term schedules hiatuses, and I profusely apologise.
BUT, I got to make out with a hot blonde. So I'm not actually really all that sorry.
The next week I was still kind of rushed as a result of my jetsetting escapades, so I didn't get the comic finished over the weekend like I usually try to do. It took me a second week to finish it, but I'm extremely please with how it turned out. This is one of my absolute favourite pages of Special Level, and perhaps of all the comics I've drawn, ever. There was going to be more setup to the romance between Gwen and the pirate, but as I began laying out this comic it just seemed to work that this would be the moment they'd get together.
In my comics, I've always drawn on real life events and moods to make it more real, and never more so than in Special Level. I pointed out to my girlfriend how difficult it is to write now, as I'm used to doing it from a far more bitter perspective. So yet again, this strip is drawn directly from real life - in part the dialogue is much the same as my girlfriend and I have been sharing over the past few months, and in part just the spirit and the attitude of the comic mirrors real life.
I can't be the only one who thinks so; when I showed my girlfriend this comic, she responded by giving me digital "kisses of the non arachnid variety".
I of course returned with "kisses DEFINATELY of the pirate variety". Arrr.